binnacle (n.) Look up binnacle at
"wooden box for a ship's compass," c. 1750, corruption of bittacle (1620s), which is probably from Spanish bitacula or Portuguese bitacola, both from Latin habitaculum "little dwelling place," from habitare "to inhabit" (see habit).
binocle (n.) Look up binocle at
1690s, from French binocle (17c.), from Latin bini- "two by two, twofold, two apiece" (see binary) + oculus "eye" (see eye (n.)).
binocular (adj.) Look up binocular at
1738, "involving both eyes," earlier "having two eyes" (1713), from French binoculaire, from Latin bini "two by two, twofold, two apiece" (see binary) + ocularis "of the eye," from oculus "eye" (see eye (n.)). The double-tubed telescopic instrument (1871, short for binocular glass) earlier was called a binocle. Related: Binocularity.
binoculars (n.) Look up binoculars at
1866; see binocular. Earlier binocle (1690s).
binomial Look up binomial at
1550s (n.); 1560s (adj.), from Late Latin binomius "having two personal names," a hybrid from bi- (see bi-) + nomius, from nomen (see name (n.)). Taken up 16c. in the algebraic sense "consisting of two terms."
bint (n.) Look up bint at
"girlfriend," 1855, British English, from Arabic bint "daughter;" adopted by British servicemen in the Middle East.
bio (n.) Look up bio at
short for biography, attested from 1961.
bio- Look up bio- at
word-forming element, from Greek bios "one's life, course or way of living, lifetime" (as opposed to zoe "animal life, organic life"), from PIE root *gwei- "to live." The correct usage is that in biography, but in modern science it has been extended to mean "organic life."
biocentric (adj.) Look up biocentric at
also bio-centric, 1889, from bio- + -centric. Anti-biocentric attested from 1882.
biochemical (adj.) Look up biochemical at
also bio-chemical, 1851, after German biochemisch, from bio- + chemical. Related: Biochemically.
biochemist (n.) Look up biochemist at
also bio-chemist, 1897; see bio- + chemist.
biochemistry (n.) Look up biochemistry at
also bio-chemistry, 1857, from bio- + chemistry.
biocide (n.) Look up biocide at
"destruction of living tissue or living species," 1947, from bio- + -cide.
biodegradable (adj.) Look up biodegradable at
also bio-degradable, 1960, from bio- + degrade + -able.
biodiesel (n.) Look up biodiesel at
also bio-diesel, 1992, from bio- + diesel.
biodiversity (n.) Look up biodiversity at
also bio-diversity, by 1988, from bio- + diversity.
bioethics (n.) Look up bioethics at
also bio-ethics, coined 1970 by U.S. biochemist Van Rensselaer Potter II (1911-2001), who defined it as "Biology combined with diverse humanistic knowledge forging a science that sets a system of medical and environmental priorities for acceptable survival." From bio- + ethics.
biofeedback (n.) Look up biofeedback at
also bio-feedback, 1969, from bio- + feedback. Said to have been coined by U.S. psychologist and parapsychologist Gardner Murphy (1890-1975).
biofuel (n.) Look up biofuel at
also bio-fuel, by 1984, from bio- + fuel (n.).
biogenesis (n.) Look up biogenesis at
also bio-genesis, 1870, "theory that living organisms arise only from pre-existing living matter," coined by English biologist T.H. Huxley (1825-1895) from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + -genesis "birth, origin, creation." Related: Biogenetic; biogenetical.
biogenic (adj.) Look up biogenic at
1904, with reference to Haeckel's recapitulation theory; 1913 as "produced by living organisms," from bio- + genic "produced by" (see genus).
biogeny (n.) Look up biogeny at
1870, "biogenesis;" see biogenic. As "history of the evolution of an organism," 1879.
biogeography (n.) Look up biogeography at
also bio-geography, 1892, from bio- + geography. Related: Biogeographical.
biographer (n.) Look up biographer at
1715; see biography + -er (1). Earlier was biographist (1660s).
Of every great and eminent character, part breaks forth into public view, and part lies hid in domestic privacy. Those qualities which have been exerted in any known and lasting performances may, at any distance of time, be traced and estimated; but silent excellencies are soon forgotten; and those minute peculiarities which discriminate every man from all others, if the are not recorded by those whom personal knowledge enabled to observe them, are irrecoverably lost. [Johnson, "Life of Sir Thomas Browne," 1756]
biographical (adj.) Look up biographical at
1738; see biography + -ical. Related: Biographically.
biography (n.) Look up biography at
1680s, probably from Latin biographia, from Late Greek biographia "description of life," from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + graphia "record, account" (see -graphy). Biographia was not in classical Greek (bios alone was the word for it), though it is attested in later Greek from c.500.
biohazard (n.) Look up biohazard at
also bio-hazard, 1973, from bio- + hazard (n.).
biological (adj.) Look up biological at
1840, from biology + -ical. Biological clock attested from 1955; not especially of human reproductive urges until c. 1991. Related: Biologically.
biologist (n.) Look up biologist at
1813, from biology + -ist. Earliest use is in reference to human life. In modern scientific sense, by 1874.
biology (n.) Look up biology at
1819, from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + -logy. Suggested 1802 by German naturalist Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (1776-1837), and introduced as a scientific term that year in French by Lamarck.
bioluminescence (n.) Look up bioluminescence at
also bio-luminescence, 1909; see bio- + luminescence.
bioluminescent (adj.) Look up bioluminescent at
also bio-luminescent, 1929; see bioluminescence.
biomass (n.) Look up biomass at
also bio-mass, c. 1980, from bio- + mass (n.1).
biome (n.) Look up biome at
1908, from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + -ome.
biomechanics (n.) Look up biomechanics at
also bio-mechanics, 1933, "study of the action of forces on the body," from bio- + mechanic (also see -ics). Earlier (1924) as a term in Russian theater, from Russian biomekhanika (1921).
biomedical (adj.) Look up biomedical at
also bio-medical, 1961, from bio- + medical (adj.).
biometric (adj.) Look up biometric at
1888, from bio- + -metric.
biometrics (n.) Look up biometrics at
"application of mathematics to biology," 1902, from biometric (also see -ics); slightly earlier in this sense was biometry (1901), which was coined by Whewell and used by him and others with a sense of "calculation of life expectancy" (1831).
biometry (n.) Look up biometry at
see biometrics.
biomorphic (adj.) Look up biomorphic at
1895, from bio- + Greek morphe "form" (see Morpheus) + -ic.
bionic (adj.) Look up bionic at
1901, as a term in the study of fossils, from Greek. bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live"). Meaning "pertaining to bionics" is recorded from 1963. Popular sense of "superhumanly gifted or durable" is from 1976, from popular U.S. television program "The Bionic Man" and its spin-offs.
bionics (n.) Look up bionics at
1959, from bio- "life" + second element from electronic; also see -ics.
bionomics (n.) Look up bionomics at
"science of organic evolution; ecology," 1888, coined by Scottish biologist Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) from Greek bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + nomos "managing," from nemein "to manage," from PIE root *nem- "to divide, distribute, allot" (see nemesis).
biopic (n.) Look up biopic at
also bio-pic, 1951, from biographical + (moving) picture. Frequent from mid-1951 in "Billboard" and possibly coined there.
biopsy (n.) Look up biopsy at
1895, from French biopsie, coined by French dermatologist Ernest Besnier (1831-1909) from Greek bi- comb. form of bios "life" (from PIE root *gwei- "to live") + opsis "a sight" (see eye (n.)). As a verb, from 1964.
biorhythm (n.) Look up biorhythm at
also bio-rhythm, 1960, from bio- + rhythm. Related: Biorhythmic.
biosphere (n.) Look up biosphere at
1899, from or modeled on German Biosphäre (1875), coined by German geologist Eduard Suess (1831-1914); see bio- + sphere.
biota (n.) Look up biota at
1901, from Greek biota "life," from PIE root *gwei- "to live."
biotechnology (n.) Look up biotechnology at
also bio-technology, 1947, "use of machinery in relation to human needs;" 1972 in sense of "use of biological processes in industrial production," from bio- + technology.
bioterrorism (n.) Look up bioterrorism at
also bio-terrorism, by 1997, from bio- + terrorism. Related: Bioterrorist.